A joint investigation between the FBI and Canadian law enforcement agencies resulted in the arrest of a Canadian man for cybercrimes on Nov. 30, 2021. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)

A joint investigation between the FBI and Canadian law enforcement agencies resulted in the arrest of a Canadian man for cybercrimes on Nov. 30, 2021. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)

Canadian man indicted in international cybercrime case

His attacks targeted State of Alaska computers as well as Canadian ones.

A Canadian man was federally indicted for his role in a number of cybercrimes affecting the U.S. and Canada in 2018.

Matthew Philbert, 31, was arrested in Ottawa on Nov. 30 by the Ottawa Provincial Police, according to the FBI.

Philbert was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity in connection with computers and one count of fraud and related activity in connection with computers, according to the release.

“Today’s unsealed indictment is a great example of the importance of international partnerships to combat the evolving and growing threat of cybercrimes,” said acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Wilson of the District of Alaska in the news release. “Cybercriminals are a dangerous threat and together with our law enforcement partners, we will use all our available resources to bring cybercriminals who target Alaskans to justice, wherever they are.”

The FBI’s involvement came after Philbert damaged a computer belonging to the state of Alaska in 2018, according to the FBI. Philbert was also indicted for a number of charges in Canada under the country’s own criminal code following the FBI’s joint investigation with the OPP and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

“Cyber criminals are opportunistic and will target any business or individual they identify as vulnerable,” said Deputy Commissioner Chuck Cox, provincial commander of the OPP’s Investigations and Organized Crime division. “The OPP continues to demonstrate its ability to seamlessly collaborate on integrated police investigations to combat cybercrimes and other illegal activities.”

The indictments come as part of increased efforts to prosecute cybercrimes against U.S. citizens from abroad, according to the FBI. Wilson also thanked Dutch authorities for their assistance.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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